Nice vs Paris Saint-Germain watched by record 1.6m people in China
A record 1.6 million people in China tuned in to watch stars such as Mario Balotelli, Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe go head-to-head when Nice faced Paris Saint-Germain in last Sunday's Ligue 1 game, the French Football League (LFP) has announced.
The game, which PSG won 2-1 thanks to a late Dani Alves goal, was scheduled at the earlier kick-off time of 13:00 CET in order to be available in prime time in China.
It was broadcast live by two stations, and taken either live or on a slight delay by four others, giving it an audience 16 times bigger than any other Ligue 1 match.
The game also won over the French public with nearly 1.2 million watching, 1.5 times the audience that tunes in for the usual 17:00 CET kick-off on a Saturday.
"This one-off scheduling at 13:00 CET on a Sunday shows the growing interest of the Chinese public for Ligue 1," the LFP's Director General, Didier Quillot, said in a statement.
"It also proves the attraction of this time slot for French viewers. This first successful initiative incites us to study the question for next season to be able to repeat this operation two or three times."
Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman